Does being active mean being purposeful in older adulthood? Examining the moderating role of retirement.

TitleDoes being active mean being purposeful in older adulthood? Examining the moderating role of retirement.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsLewis, NA, Hill, PL
JournalPsychology and Aging
ISSN Number1939-1498
KeywordsActivity engagement, life purpose, Retirement
Abstract

The degree to which individuals engage in leisure activities has been shown to predict well-being in older adults, but it is not known whether such activities may help older adults maintain purposefulness into retirement. The current study sought to address whether activity engagement is associated with purpose in life and whether this association differs based on retirement status. We used data from three waves of the Health and Retirement Study between 2008 and 2016. Multilevel growth models accounted for both within- and between-person effects of leisure activity participation and retirement status on change in sense of purpose in life. Participants reported higher sense of purpose on occasions when they engaged more in leisure activities, and more active participants exhibited less decline in purpose over time. Retired individuals showed steeper declines in sense of purpose, but this effect was mitigated among participants reporting greater activity engagement. Leisure activity participation may help to support sense of purpose in life, particularly among retired individuals. These findings underscore the potential for leisure activity interventions to help older adults compensate for loss of work-related roles and maintain purposefulness into retirement. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

DOI10.1037/pag0000568
Citation Key10998
PubMed ID32790458